From Teluk Intan in Perak (still within MY jurisdiction, which explains the nature and scope of my work, ie; confined to Perak state only), Sekinchan is around an hour or so from Teluk Intan, using the trunk road passing by Hutan Melintang (still in Perak), and leading forward to Kuala Selangor, before reaching Klang. Of course, you save on tolls, BUT the less-than-ideal condition of the roads, and the intimidating number of trucks and lorries frequenting this route may evoke second thoughts.Restoran Chai Lee @ Bagan Sekinchan
Departing from Teluk Intan, we were deprived of our lunch, and initial plan of devouring seafood in Kuala Selangor came to a screeching halt. THUNDERING roar of hunger pangs took over, and
the next best thing was to stop by Sekinchan, also popular for seafood, albeit pale in comparison to Kuala Selangor's reputation (correct me if I"m wrong).
It was way past lunch hour, with the row of shops looking deserted, and cleaners already in full motion. Fortunately, Chai Lee Restaurant was still in operation at that hour, and being listed in a reliable food guide somehow lessen our worries of either being served inedible grubs, OR being "laid on a butcher's chopping board" (a proverb, go ask your Chinese friend for translation, hehe ...)Butter Milky Mantis Prawns (RM9)
There were only 2 of us. A wise choice would be to order individual meals. But coming so far off from my hibernating land of Ipoh, I wouldn't risk indulging in a meagre plate of fried rice or wat tan hor. No, sirree .... I needed a complete meal, couldn't care less about the portion, calories, nor cholesterol-laden seafood. Yum-yum!Claypot Fish Maw with Vegetables (RM17)
I reminded the lady taking our orders to minimize the portion, but seemed my "pleas" fell on deaf ears. Serving's generous, enough to feed 3-4. The squids were very fresh, springy texture, and devoid of fishy smell. The batter could've been crispier though.
The mantis prawns are not your run-of-the-mill mediocre "He Ko", but instead came in full form, all 6 inches of it, deep-fried and served in butter milk (Nai Yao) style. However, we were puzzled as to how should they be eaten. Pop everything (crispy shells and all) into our mouths? Or peel them off one by one (which might take forever, given the tough task of dissecting a mantis prawn)?
Hmmm.... ended up I peeled the harder, back shells of the crustacean, while digesting everything else, legs and all. Delicious. The gravy (a bit dry, typical butter milky style of cooking) was extremely aromatic, and the saltiness balanced well with the sweetness of the flesh.
Fish maws (click HERE for explanation) are essentially dried stomach lining of fish. And at Chai Lee, these are one of their better creations. Claypot Fish Maws with Vegetables. Delightful, as the thick gravy complemented our rice well (Sekinchan being a rice producing town, after all!), very sweet from the seafood-infused broth, and the fish maws were fresh, and completely lacking of overnight re-fried oil taste. A must-try if you happen to drop by this shop.